Office Groundbreaking Announced

by Jon Dalrymple

SPOKANE, Wash. - Construction is set to begin on the new Upper Columbia Conference administrative offices in early April, 2010. A groundbreaking ceremony, scheduled for April 6 at 4 p.m., will commemorate the event following more than a year of planning and preparation.

"We want to invite everyone to attend this dedication and thanksgiving event," says Bill Skidmore, Upper Columbia Conference Human Resources Director and construction project coordinator. "We asked God to bless our efforts before we began the planning process and we are very thankful for the miracles he has done thus far. As we begin construction we want to dedicate the project and the workers to His service."

Following the dedication ceremony, contractors will begin laying the foundation and infrastructure for the new facility. The construction process will continue throughout the year with an expected completion date of April 14, 2011.

In addition to offices for more than 50 employees of the regional Adventist headquarters, the new 37,000 square-foot facility will also be home to KEEH 104.9 FM and the ABC Christian Bookstore and Vegetarian Food Outlet.

While the new one-story building will be 5,000 square feet smaller than the old two-story building that burned down in December, 2008, new features will provide better services to church members and the community.

"The greatest improvement for the bookstore will be the ground level entrance," says Herman Schreven, manager of the ABC Christian Bookstore. "It will be more easily accessible to wheelchairs and other customers. Plus, we won't have to haul cases of canned food up and down stairs when we take them out to customer’s cars."

Many hours of thoughtful planning went into designing a facility that would meet the needs of the conference office and still keep the estimated cost below what insurance would cover. Over $100,000 dollars was saved by moving the footprint of the building slightly away from the original building site so fill dirt would not have to be brought in to support the new building.

Additional money-saving features of the facility include a high-efficiency heating and air-conditioning system, a much improved insulation rating, and an ambient light sensor that will adjust the interior lighting based on the amount of light coming from windows and skylights.

"We spent a considerable amount of time selecting the architect and general contractor," says Skidmore, "we wanted a firm that had experience in commercial office construction, that was familiar with Spokane County building agencies and regulations, and that had a reputation for integrity."

As a result, the building committee selected Architects West to design the building and their partner company, Leone and Keeble, Inc. as the general contractors.

Currently Leone and Keeble are accepting bids from subcontractors for work on the new offices. For more information about submitting bids or if you have any other questions or concerns about the building project you can contact Bill Skidmore by phone at (509) 838-2761 or by e-mail at bills@uccsda.org.